Baked yeast doughnuts are easier to make than you might think. This recipe uses wholemeal spelt flour to keep them light and fluffy. Once baked, the doughnuts are rolled in lightly spiced sugar. But be warned, they’re so delicious it’s impossible to stop at one.
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Doughnuts, or donuts if you’re in the US, are a firm favourite with just about everybody. As they’re mostly fried in deep fat, however, they’re not the healthiest of snacks. They’re also not that easy to make at home if you’re averse to deep fat frying.
Baking doughnuts as an alternative to frying is the answer. They’re much easier to make and although I’ve coated mine with butter and sugar, they’re less unhealthy too. I’ve used a minimal amount of both – just enough to give some sweetness and a good flavour. Each ring doughnut contains approximately 140 calories, which doesn’t seem a lot for a doughnut.
I have another recipe for baked doughnuts here on Tin and Thyme. And they’re really good. But they’re made with baking powder, not yeast, so they don’t really have the right doughnutty texture.
For those of you who are looking for something a bit more authentic, these wholemeal spelt baked yeast ring doughnuts are a real corker.
Baked Yeast Doughnuts
These homemade doughnuts are easier to make than most, for several reasons:
- As stated above, they’re baked not deep fried, meaning no messy oil to dispose of and no waste either.
- There’s only one knead and prove involved, not two.
- Because I use wholemeal spelt flour, you only need to knead the dough for about five minutes. Conventional flours generally require a good ten minutes. This is particularly useful if you knead by hand.
Wholemeal spelt flour also helps to keep the doughnuts light and fluffy. I usually sieve the flour though so I can discard any particularly large or coarse pieces of bran. These can spoil the lovely fluffy mouthfeel and may also prevent the dough from rising as successfully.
When you roll the dough into sausage shapes to place in the moulds, you don’t need to flour the work surface. Just give a light coating of oil instead. Dry doughnuts are probably not what you’re after and too much flour will dry them out.
Lay them in the moulds and roughly pinch the ends together. Many of the imperfections will disappear once the dough is risen and baked.
Although there’s not a lot of hands-on time required, you’ll need to allow about an hour for the dough to prove and double in size. They only take fifteen minutes to bake.
Once the doughnuts are out of the oven, push them out of the moulds onto a wire rack. Coat them in butter and sugar as detailed below.
These wholemeal spelt doughnuts are at their absolute best whilst they’re still warm from the oven. But it’s very hard to stop at just one. They will keep for a couple of days, but as with most doughnuts, the fresher the better.
Sugar Coated Doughnuts
Doughnut dough has very little sugar in it, so unless you fill your doughnuts with jam, ice them or coat them with sugar, you won’t be getting a particularly sweet treat. Good thing, bad thing, you choose.
I prefer a dusting of sugar, but not an all out drenching. We found these sugared ring doughnut to be about right. Sweet enough to satisfy decadent cravings, but not so overloaded that a trip to hospital will ensue.
To coat the doughnuts, you first need to melt some butter. Do this whilst the doughnuts are baking. At the same time stir the sugar and spice together in a bowl.
Brush the butter over the doughnuts as soon as you can after they come out of the oven. Though do be careful not to burn your hands. Once you’ve coated a doughnut push it into the bowl of sugar. Turn it over then do the same on the other side. Give it a good shake, then place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat until all the doughnuts have a good dusting of spiced sugar.
What’s the Right Milk Temperature for Yeast Activation?
To activate yeast and get your dough to prove properly, the milk needs to be tepid or lukewarm. That is to say, slightly above body temperature. 38C/100F is ideal. However, since most of us don’t have a thermometer to hand, just stick a clean finger into the milk. If it feels slightly warm it’s ready to go. But i it feels hot, allow it to cool before using.
When you add milk, or any other liquid, that’s too hot to yeast, it will kill it. So it’s better to err on the cool side of caution.
Don’t Have a Doughnut Mould?
You don’t need a doughnut mould or pan to make these baked doughnuts, but it makes life a lot easier if you do. Without it, you’ll need a rolling pin and cutters.
It’s well worth investing in some silicone doughnut moulds. They’re cheap, will last many years and they make doughnut baking so much easier. Mine came from MoldyFun, but you can also get a three pack donut baking pan* on Amazon.
This recipe makes the perfect quantity of dough for twelve doughnut holes.
However, if you don’t have any moulds, you can roll the dough out to just over one centimetre (half an inch) in thickness. Stamp out six-seven centimetre (three inches) large circles, then stamp out smaller circles in the middle of the larger ones. Place on a lined baking tray and follow the instructions as per the recipe.
How To Tell When Baked Yeast Doughnuts Are Done
You know the doughnuts are done when they’re golden in colour and if you tap one on the bottom it sounds hollow inside. But for doughnuts, it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you over bake them, they’ll be dry and not nearly as pleasant to eat.
What Is Pumpkin Spice?
Pumpkin spice is a classic mix of sweet spices that Americans use to make pumpkin pie. Expect to find, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger, though allspice is sometimes used too. The equivalent here in the UK is mixed spice.
I used pumpkin spice for these doughnuts, but you can use whatever spice grabs your fancy, or none at all. Cinnamon is delicious of course and mixed spice works well too. But if you fancy making your own pumpkin spice mix, this is how you do it.
Combine two teaspoons of ground cinnamon with one of ginger, half of ground nutmeg and a quarter of ground cloves.
Other Sweet Yeast Recipes You Might Like
- Chocolate babka bundt
- Mincemeat buns
- Saffron buns (vegan)
- Strasbourg kouglof
- Triple chocolate bread
- Vegetarian lardy cakes
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these wholemeal spelt doughnuts, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more recipes made with wholemeal spelt flour, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Baked Yeast Doughnuts. PIN IT.
Baked Yeast Doughnuts – The Recipe
Baked Yeast Doughnuts
- 8 g fresh yeast or 3 ½ g active dried yeast
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 25 g golden caster sugar
- 100 ml milk
- 250 g wholemeal spelt flour
- 1 egg
- 25 g unsalted butter – melted
- 60 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice or sweet spice (s) of your choice
- Warm the milk in a small pan until it’s tepid. Pour it into a large mixing bowl or bowl of your food mixer, add the yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Cover and leave for ten minutes or until the milk has turned frothy.
- Whilst you’re waiting, melt the butter in the same pan you used for the milk. Butter or oil your doughnut moulds and place on a baking tray.
- Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and stir by hand or use a food mixer until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Knead for five minutes.
- Cut the dough into twelve evenly sized pieces. Lightly oil your work surface then roll each piece into a string long enough to fit around each doughnut hole mould.
- Lay them in the moulds and pinch the ends together so that the dough rounds are more or less even.
- Cover with a tea towel or large plastic bag and leave to rise until doubled in size. This usually takes about an hour, but could be a bit less or a bit more depending on the state of your flour, how active the yeast is and how warm the room is.
- When the doughnuts look as though they're nearly there, preheat the oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan, 350℉, Gas 4).
- Remove the tea towel or plastic covering and bake in the top part of the oven for fifteen minutes. You know the doughnuts are done when they're golden in colour and if you tap one on the bottom it sounds hollow inside. But for doughnuts, it's better to err on the side of caution. If you overbake them they will be dry and not nearly as pleasant to eat.
- Whilst the doughnuts are baking melt the butter in a small pan over a gently heat. Mix the sugar and spice together in a large shallow bowl.
- Turn the doughnuts out of the moulds whilst hot and immediately brush each one with the melted butter then dunk in the sugar bowl, turning them over when one side is done.
I’m sharing this recipe for baked yeast doughnuts with A Strong Coffee for #CookBlogShare.
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